The Shabbat Table: lighten up, brighten up!

Rainbow Sprinkle Macaroons courtesy of WHAT JEW WANNA EAT

Good Shabbos! Shabbat Shalom! The days are getting shorter and colder and it’s almost time to turn back your clocks. I’ve featured some lighter recipes to warm you up and help lighten up the dark days of November as well as your Shabbat menus! I’ve also included several fun-filled ideas for Parshat Noach to brighten up your Shabbat table.

For a healthier version of my award-winning challah, (updated), use half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose, and top it with sesame or poppy seeds rather than streusel topping.


For Parshat Noach you can add food colouring to your challah dough and braid it to make a rainbow challah. This video will show you how to do it:

A simpler option is just to sprinkle your challah with colorful sprinkles before baking instead of using poppy or sesame seeds!

For a refreshing, healthy dessert, why not layer your favorite fruit for rainbow fruit salad in individual parfait glasses or in a large clear glass serving bowl.

For the children at your Shabbat table, kids of all ages love to eat sprinkle cookies. Amy Kritzer’s rainbow sprinkle macaroons from her cookbook Sweet Noshings (Rock Point) are great fun to serve this Shabbat. Amy has lots of fun-filled recipes in her popular blog, What Jew Wanna Eat.  Enjoy!


Adapted from Healthy Helpings, Whitecap (originally published as MealLeaniYumm!)

This fabulous fiber-filled soup contains 9 grams of fiber along with 150 calories of heart-warming goodness. For a delicious smoky flavor, add the cut-up carcass of a smoked turkey along with the barley!

2 cups green split peas, rinsed and drained
3 carrots, chopped
3 or 4 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
12 cups water, chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves crushed garlic, if desired
2 tsp canola oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1. In a large soup pot, combine split peas, carrots, celery and 1 onion with water. Bring to a boil.
2. Stir in barley, bay leaf and garlic, if using. Reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a nonstick skillet, heat oil. Sauté the remaining 2 onions on medium heat until well browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Add onions to soup along with dill. Simmer soup 5 to 10 minutes longer.
5. Discard bay leaf (and turkey carcass, if using).

Yield: 12 servings. Reheats and/or freezes well. If soup gets thick, add a little water or broth.


Adapted from Healthy Helpings, Whitecap (originally published as MealLeaniYumm!)

This heart-healthy appetizer is packed with fiber rather than laden with the dietary
cholesterol found in beef liver! Canned lentils can be substituted for chickpeas. A 15-ounce can contains 1 1/2 cups chickpeas after draining.

3 medium onions
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp almonds or walnuts
2 hard-boiled eggs (or 1 hard-boiled egg plus 2 hardboiled whites)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp honey

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place unpeeled onions on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, until soft. (Or pierce onions in 3 or 4 places with a sharp knife; place on a plate and microwave on HIGH for 6 to 8 minutes.) Cool slightly; remove peel.
2. Combine all ingredients in processor. Process 30 seconds, until finely chopped. If mixture seems dry, blend in a little water. Chill before serving.

Yield: about 2 3/4 cups. Mixture keeps for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. It can be frozen,
but season the mixture lightly because the pepper’s flavor will become stronger.


Adapted from Healthy Helpings/MealLeaniYumm!

This makes an excellent alternative when you don’t need a whole turkey.

1 turkey breast, bone in (about 3–31/2 lb/1.5 kg)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (optional)
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
2 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp paprika
2 onions, sliced
1/2 cup water

1. Loosen skin from turkey, but don’t remove it. Trim off fat. Season turkey breast under the skin with a little salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine garlic with remaining ingredients except onions and water. Rub mixture over turkey breast (under the skin).
2. Place onions and water in the bottom of a lightly sprayed casserole. Place turkey, bone- side down, over onions. Cover and marinate for an hour at room temperature or 24 hours in the refrigerator.
3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Roast turkey uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes, basting every 20 minutes. Calculate 18–20 minutes per pound as your cooking time. After cooking, let turkey stand for 10 to 15 minutes for easier carving. Discard skin. Slice turkey meat on an angle off the bone.

Yield: 8 servings. Cooked turkey may become dry if frozen and reheated.

Fat-Saving Secret! Cooking turkey with the skin on does not add more calories or fat. If desired, place thin slices of orange just under the skin to help keep turkey moist during cooking. Discard turkey skin and orange slices after cooking. Place casserole with cooking juices in the freezer for a short time so the fat will rise to the top and congeal, making it easy to remove.



Adapted from Sweet Noshings: New Twists on Traditional Jewish Desserts by Amy Kritzer

Amy Kritzer writes: “Nothing could be more ‘me’ than these festive flourless rainbow sprinkle macaroons! (Plus, rainbow food has no calories; it’s just science.) Yay, sprinkles!”

2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup (132 g) granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups (128 g) unsweetened large coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups (140 g) sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles, plus more for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 325 F/170 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl with a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or using a hand mixer, beat egg whites on medium-high speed to get soft peaks. You can also beat the egg whites by hand, but it will take a while.
3. Add sugar and beat until you have very thick, shiny, stiff peaks, about 4 minutes. You’ll know you have stiff peaks when, after dipping your whisk into the egg whites and turning it upside down, the mixture will stick straight up and not dribble off.
4. Then gently stir in vanilla, salt, and coconut. The 2 different types of coconut add varying textures. Lastly, gently stir in sprinkles just until combined.
5. Drop heaping tablespoon-size dollops of batter on baking sheet. You may have to futz around with them after to make them nice and round, but don’t make them too perfect! Those crispy stray pieces are delicious when browned. Sprinkle a few extra sprinkles on top.
6. Bake for about 15 minutes until the macaroons are just starting to brown and are dry to the touch. They will firm up as they cool. Do not overcook or they will be dry.
7. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes or until you can handle them, and then finish cooling on cooling rack.

Tip: The secret to this recipe is a mix of large unsweetened coconut and sweetened smaller pieces for a variety in taste and texture. Keep cooled macaroons in an airtight container for up to five days.

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is the author of twelve cookbooks and divides her time between work as a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, and cookbook editor. Norene lives in Toronto, Canada and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website or email her at [email protected].